Welcome to our weekly cash report, which we’re doing a little differently. Instead of focusing on the money, FSR Editor-in-Chief Christopher Campbell is more interested in the estimated attendance – or the number of tickets sold. Because the value of money changes over the years, but the value of the actual moviegoers remains the same. This week we’re looking at the number of visitors to the opening box office for the new releases The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and Spirit Untamed.
If you’d like to watch any of the eight episodes of The Conjuring Universe, you can do so now on HBO Max. Yes, also the newest entry, The incantation: The devil made me do it. The second sequel to Conjuring is right there, along with the other two Conjuring films, the three Annabelle films, and The Nun. For no additional “Premier Access”. Well, okay, The Devil Made Me Do It isn’t available to subscribers to the new, lower-priced ad-supported tier of HBO Max (but why should you pay for that version in the first place?). Anyway, I mention this because despite having easy access to The Conjuring 3 at home on the opening weekend in theaters, the film still grossed $ 24 million at the box office.
That would be a decent catch for any old-time horror sequel. In fact, the gross figures reported amount to around 2.6 million tickets sold for the Michael Chaves-Helmet return of the cinematic incarnation of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). That’s more than The Conjuring Universe’s previous release, Annabelle Comes Home, which debuted on the big screen in June 2019 with around 2.2 million viewers on the opening weekend. Before that, the loosely connected part The Curse of La Llorona, also directed by Chaves, drew around 2.9 million people in the first few days.
Of course, the franchise is still far from its peak – The Nun of 2018 – and a little over half what the original Conjuring did eight years ago. Here’s a chronological look at ticket sales on the opening weekend for The Conjuring Universe:
1. The Conjuration (2013) – 5.1 million
2. Annabelle (2014) – 4.5 million
3. The Conjuring 2 (2016) – 4.7 million
4. Annabelle: Creation (2017) – 3.9 million
5. The Nun (2018) – 5.9 million
6. The Curse of La Llorona (2019) – 2.9 million
7. Annabelle Comes Home (2019) – 2.2 million
8. The Incantation: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) – 2.6 million
Ironically, The Nun had the best debut and second best overall gross in the franchise, but it has the worst rating, according to Rotten Tomatoes. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It has the fifth best reviews of The Conjuring Universe, the lowest that still has a positive score. And his audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes is currently at the best franchise level with the Original Conjuring. For those who prefer Metacritic, The Devil Made Me Do It for the fifth best franchise is out there, matching Annabelle Comes Home. It is also only in third place among the moviegoers surveyed by Cinemascore on the opening weekend with a grade of B +, just behind the other two Conjuring films.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It exceeded expectations, according to Box Office Pro, which predicted a gross equivalent of 2.1 million tickets. That would have been a franchise low. Returning to Box Office Pro’s long-term summer box office forecast last month, the film was given a range between about 1.6 million and 2.7 million. So it ended up near the peak of potential. Experts actually saw the new sequel to Conjuring in second place at the box office, behind the second weekend of yet another horror sequel: A quiet place part II. But after the success of the film last weekend, it fell 59 percent and only sold 2.1 million tickets in the past few days instead of the forecast 2.4 million.
Another franchise entry is also disappointing compared to the forecast: Untamed mind. The DreamWorks animation feature is the first Spirit theatrical action since the traditional 2002 animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Box Office Pro estimated the new film would attract a modest crowd of around 790,000, but the actual one The number of viewers was closer to around 680,000. But it’s not outside of the full range allowed by the site, which expects between 550,000 and 980,000. However, something had happened recently when Box Office Pro increased its numbers for Spirit Untamed as their long-term forecast range had a low equivalent of around 220,000. Nevertheless, Hengst des Cimarron opened with around 3.1 million tickets sold. And no other DreamWorks Animation release had such a poor performance on the opening weekend.
Personally, I wouldn’t have predicted much for Spirit Untamed as it is yet another animated feature film in a media franchise with a strong presence on the small screen. DreamWorks’ Spirit Riding Free ran on Netflix for eight seasons starting in 2017, and then a spin-off called Spirit Riding Free: Pony Tales released two seasons in 2019, and released another ongoing spin-off, Spirit Riding Free: Riding Academy two seasons last year. This means that children can watch 78 episodes at home anytime. Plus a Christmas special 2019 and an interactive special that was the last Spirit thing last December. Additionally, Spirit Untamed is essentially a retelling of the plot of the first Riding Free series.
Maybe that’s why the reviews of the new feature are rather negative compared to the relatively positive reception of the Oscar-nominated original. However, Rotten Tomatoes’ audience rating is exceptionally high, and its Cinemascore A rating is the same as that of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron nearly twenty years ago. You can bet that if DreamWorks and Universal had just released the new feature on Netflix, it would have been hugely popular. But families don’t often get excited about spending a lot of money to see something on the big screen that the kids can see in a different form at home. It’s not that so many horror fans would rather see a Conjuring movie in theaters than on HBO Max.
The last weekend’s new publication is rounded off by Theo Anthony’s documentation All light, everywhere (which is currently one of my favorite movies of the year) had one of the best averages per screen ($ 2,606) while playing in just two locations. Christian Petzold’s latest, the fantastic drama Undine, did not do that well on average ($ 491) in its limited release despite good reviews. Its opening gross is close to Petzold’s two previous films, but both were shown on only two screens. The Mormon action film comes very close to the weekend’s top ten, despite running on fewer than a hundred screens Witnesses sold about 17,000 tickets – more if I assumed the locations’ prices were below the national average.
Here are this week’s top ten movie releases according to estimated ticket sales [with totals in brackets]:
1. The incantation: The devil made me do it: 2.6 million [2.6 million]
2. A Quiet Place Part II: 2.1 million [9.7 million]
3. Cruella: 1.2 million [4.8 million]
4. Untamed spirit: 0.7 million [0.7 million]
5. Raya and the last dragon: 143,000 [5.8 million]
6. Human Wrath: 139,000 [2.7 million]
7th spiral: 97,000 [2.4 million]
8. Godzilla vs. Kong: 51,000 [10.8 million]
9. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train: 50,000 [5.1 million]
10th dream horse: 25,000 [0.3 million]
All gross cash numbers are from Box Office Mojo, The Numbers, and Box Office Pro.